It’s an FA Cup weekend but the Gunners aren’t in action until Monday night when we take on Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at Dean Court. For the Cherries, who currently sit in the drop-zone, relegation is a real possibility and therefore we’re unlikely to see them field their strongest XI – Premier League survival will surely take precedent.
From an Arsenal perspective, it’s about re-discovering the winning habit. Although there has undoubtedly been a significant improvement in the teams performances since his arrival, seven games into Mikel Arteta’s tenure we’re still to experience the ‘new manager bounce’ as far as results are concerned.
To be clear, I’m ok with that because this time around we can see a plan, a direction of travel, a philosophy and the communication between the Head Coach and the fans is clearer and more transparent than it’s been in years. But despite the upturn in our performances, the attitude and the belief around the club – confidence will not truly improve without the desired results.
Winning is as much about mindset as it is talent and after an encouraging result at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday it’s important to carry that positivity forward and build on it. For that reason I believe the Spaniard will continue with his strongest available side and given what’s gone on in the past few months a cup run would do this squad the world of good in terms of belief.
Arteta has spoken of the importance of momentum in the past and given the winter break is on the horizon there’s no reason to hold back. Despite a dreadful start to the season Arsenal still have every chance of achieving a respectable league position, collecting silverware and possibly even sneaking into next seasons Champions League via a fourth placed finish or Europa League glory.
For the first time in a long time it feels like Arsenal are improving and like many I’m confident better times are just around the corner.